Tonight I had a helper in the kitchen… my lovely mother. We have been working in the kitchen for the past two days makingChristmas gifts for our friends. What is happening is that she is spoiling me! Every time I turn around the dishes are washed.
I am so not complaining but I am going to really notice her absence when she goes back home. Well, not just because of that reason alone but you have to admit that such a thing would greatly spoil a person. One of the items that I wanted to make tonight for a few girlfriends was the Maple Raising Granola.
This afternoon, I started the nuts soaking so those were all ready for us. I started coring the apples, grabbed for the date paste that I HAD in the fridge and realized that I had used it all up yesterday. No problem, I will soak some more and make another batch of date paste. Doh! I am out of dates. Thus, raisin paste was born. No problem, it’s under control. I turn to grab some oranges to zest them…I am out of oranges!
Fine, I will just zest some lemons…no lemons?? Wait, there are some out of the tree in the back yard. Shew! That was when I realized that I was just going to have to recreate the original recipe and use what I had on hand. The end result… pure bliss! It turned out so yummy! I had a hard time keeping mom out of the batter. I packaged the granola in some jar containers and to really personalize it I made labels for them. It brings me so much joy to prepare food for others!
- 3 apples cored and chopped, organic
- 1 1/2 cups raisins, rehydrated
- 1/2 cup maple syrup or raw agave nectar
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp lemon zest
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- A little prep is needed in the soaking department. Soak each nut and seeds as indicated in the links above. Also rehydrate the raisins by soaking them in enough warm water to cover them. These only need to be soaked roughly 15 minutes. This is just for the ease of blending.
- In a food processor, place the fresh apples, raisins, maple syrup, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla, and 1/4 cup of the sunflower seeds. Process until completely smooth.
- Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl.
- Add the remaining 1/4 cup of sunflower seeds, nuts, cranberries, coconut, cinnamon, and salt to the food processor.
- Coarsely chop the nuts and seeds in a few quick pulses.
- Add them to the bowl with the apple mixture and mix well.
- Spread mixture out on the teflex dehydrator sheets.
- Dehydrate at 145 degrees for 1 hour, reduce temp to 115 degrees (F) for an additional 10-16 hours.
- The dry time will always vary, based on your climate, humidity, the make/model of your dehydrator and how full it is.
- Store in glass, sealed containers on the counter for 1-2 weeks and in the freezer for up to 3 months.
The Institute of Culinary Ingredients:
- To learn more about maple syrup by clicking (here).
- Is agave a good choice? Click (here).
- Why do I specify Ceylon cinnamon? Click (here) to learn why.
- What is Himalayan pink salt and does it really matter? Click (here) to read more about it.
- Why do I start the dehydrator at 145 degrees (F). Click (here) to learn the reason behind this.
- When working with fresh ingredients it is important to taste test as you build a recipe. Learn why (here).
One of the greatest joys when creating raw food recipes is experimenting with different ingredients… a practice that I highly encourage. Daily I get questions regarding substitutions. Of course we all might have different dietary needs and tastes which could necessitate altering a recipe. I love to share with you what I create for myself, my husband, friends and family. I spend a lot of time selecting the right ingredients with a particular goal in mind, looking to build a certain flavor and texture.
So as you experiment with substitutions, remember they are what they sound like, they are substitutes for the preferred item. Generally they are not going to behave, taste, or have the same texture as the suggested ingredient. Some may work, and others may not and I can’t promise what the results will be unless I’ve tried them myself. So have fun, don’t be afraid, and remember, substituting is how I discovered many of my unique dishes.
Granolas make wonderful everyday gifts…
and are great for the Holidays!